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Midweek Madness - Nigel Owens puts Chris Robshaw in his place

Hat-tip to Rory Kockott here too. Keeps the big lad away from the ref when he looked like he might be planning to having a word, then the little tap on Robshaw's shoulder and reminder to "let the ref referee the game" may have just been enough to make Owens think it was time to stamp his authority a bit. Not that Owens needs any help in that respect, but it was a useful mental nudge.

Sort of undermined Robshaw a bit, in a cheeky scrumhalf kind of way - reminded me a bit of George Gregan a while ago, (Are you the ref mate? I thought he was).

1 Month, 1 Week ago

Courtney Lawes lays into another unsuspecting flyhalf, this time Jules Plisson

Betsen was awesome. A wonderful exponent of the art of "flyhalf-hunting".

In Oliver's 2003 example, I think the yellow card was too much. Probably was a penalty though. The ball was about 30ft in the air after being kicked by Wilkinson, so it was unequivocally late. Not by much, but late enough for a penalty, no more.

1 Month, 1 Week ago

Courtney Lawes lays into another unsuspecting flyhalf, this time Jules Plisson

I like a flyhalf who plays flat and attacks the line. Ironically, your best policy against Lawes might not be to sit deeper and pass faster, but to get up to the line even more quickly, before Lawes has had a chance to build up speed...

1 Month, 1 Week ago

Courtney Lawes lays into another unsuspecting flyhalf, this time Jules Plisson

I used to love that Aussie commentator on Oliver's Betsen video. No idea what his name is but think he's retired now?

He was flattened. Absolutely creamed. Still lying flat on his face, sucking in the big ones. He got a beauty.

1 Month, 1 Week ago

Courtney Lawes lays into another unsuspecting flyhalf, this time Jules Plisson

And he moisturises too...

https://twitter.com/stroudos/status/580457134992814080

Now we know his secret! These unsuspecting fly halves see that baby soft skin and assume he must be harmless.


1 Month, 1 Week ago

Courtney Lawes lays into another unsuspecting flyhalf, this time Jules Plisson

No it doesn't! It says lifting and dropping or driving.

1 Month, 1 Week ago

Courtney Lawes lays into another unsuspecting flyhalf, this time Jules Plisson

Has he done anything else?

Dominates line-outs; wins almost every ball he jumps for, is a massive pain in the arse on opposition throws.
Pressurises ball-carriers with phenomenal line speed.
Very impressive work-rate in the loose, securing shitloads of ball without giving away penalties, (something some people seem to want to level at him).
Runs excellent support play including providing an outlet for the backs to offload - eg that one last year where Burrell was denied by Halfpenny's head - Lawes involved about three times in that move. Similar examples in this year's competition.

1 Month, 1 Week ago

Courtney Lawes lays into another unsuspecting flyhalf, this time Jules Plisson

Oliver

Lawes tackles forwards all day long. Those tackles don't get posted on rugbydump because they're less spectacular and dramatic.

When you tackle a forward you usually only have to cover a couple of metres; to reach the flyhalf from a set-piece you need to have covered at least 10m and to have done so very quickly indeed. If you're a forward you're likely to be running into a smaller person and at full speed.

Should you, on recognising the disparity in size, soften your tackling technique to be considerate? Or capitalise on your relative strength and smash him? Bearing in mind of course that this is what you're paid to do and am have been training hard to do for all your adult life.

1 Month, 1 Week ago

Wales cut loose in Rome for unbelievable second half against Italy

He needs one of those little posters next to his peg in the changing room to provide a reminder before he runs out:

Cuddle his arse, don't cuddle his cock.

1 Month, 1 Week ago

England and France's Twickenham thriller not enough in dramatic title chase

There is a direct and unequivocal correlation between Nigel Owens and really enjoyable games of rugby. He exerts such a calm but firm authority and at the same time seems to get the game to flow very naturally. I actually think with some other refs this would not have been a 12-try thriller.

Indeed above a few France fans criticising what they view as missed infringements but they are really clutching at straws. I think on balance he was even to both sides in hat respect. And he's always consistent.

His best bit was towards the end where Robshaw was starting to over-step the mark in terms of how the captain can speak to the ref. Owens raised an eyebrow, put on a bollocking face and went "Christopher...." Robshaw, suitably chastised, scuttled off tail between legs. I thought I even heard him mutter "sorry dad!" as he jogged away...

1 Month, 1 Week ago